News

Religious Groups Keep Faith During Pandemic, Remote Academic Year

February 23, 2021

D. Anthony Alvarez ’21, a member of the Harvard Latter-day Saints Student Association, has attended religious services at the same congregation off campus since he arrived at Harvard as a freshman.

This semester, Alvarez said he still attends services at that same congregation. Amid Covid-19, though, he must sign up to attend ahead of time, don a mask, and eschew singing, which can spread infectious particles.

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Group pushes for recognition of minority religions in Fairfax County school calendar

February 23, 2021

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (ABC7) — Dinan Elsyad said it has been difficult balancing life as a Muslim and a Fairfax County student.

“It’s honestly been really hard for me every single year when the holiday rolls around,” said Elsyad who is a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. “I have even gotten into arguments with teachers in the past about whether or not I can get an extension if I leave on that day.”

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End of religious headwear rule says athletes are more than their uniforms

February 23, 2021

(RNS) — When she was not allowed to play in her second volleyball game of the season, 14-year-old Najah Aqeel never thought her pushback would knock down nearly every obstacle in her way, like a bowling ball knocking over pin after pin.

Last September, the ninth-grader at Valor College Prep in Nashville, Tennessee, was pulled from the court after an official pointed out that her coach had not provided a waiver for her to play while wearing her hijab, or religious headscarf. When she was told she couldn’t play, Najah started crying. She received support from her family and...

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Ash Wednesday during a pandemic means sprinkles instead of markings to keep distance

February 17, 2021

At Our Lady of Lourdes in Seaford, the Rev. Steven B. Giuliano will be following the Vatican's request this year.

Unlike every Ash Wednesday that has come before, Giuliano will not be using his finger to make the sign of the cross on the foreheads of his congregation. Instead, he'll follow the advice from his church's leaders and sprinkle them upon their heads.

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Salt Lake County taking COVID vaccines to Black churches, mosques to reach wary minority communities

February 17, 2021

COVID-19 vaccinations have been given in at least one Salt Lake County church and soon may be offered at several other religious sites — especially those serving minority communities.

Calvary Baptist Church, one of Salt Lake City’s oldest and most prominent Black congregations, gave 85 doses Monday and will do more starting March 1, when the age for eligible recipients drops to 65. Officials hope to have enough vaccine supply to offer them twice weekly...

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Muslims in America: A forgotten history

February 12, 2021

In the summer of 1863, newspapers in North Carolina announced the death of “a venerable African”, referred to, in a paternalistic manner, as “Uncle Moreau”.

Omar ibn Said, a Muslim, was born in 1770 in Senegal and by the time of his death, he had been enslaved for 56 years. In 2021, Omar, an opera about his life, will premiere at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Religion Amidst the Pandemic: How Framingham Has Continued to Practice Their Faith

February 9, 2021

FRAMINGHAM – Over the past year, countless organizations have had to take a step back and think of new and innovative ways to operate during the coronavirus pandemic. Religious institutions have been no exception.

Despite the roadblocks and restrictions brought on by COVID, many religious institutions have actually found great success in navigating the technological world and allowing people to continue to practice their faith in new, COVID-friendly ways.

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Social media helps Native Americans preserve cultural traditions during pandemic

February 9, 2021

Lawrence Wetsit misses the days when his people would gather by the hundreds and sing the songs that all Assiniboine children are expected to learn by age 15.

"We can't have ceremony without memorizing all of the songs, songs galore," he said. "We're not supposed to record them: We have to be there. And when that doesn't happen in my grandchildren's life, they may never catch up."

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California State Parks Invites The Public To Virtually Celebrate Chinese New Year Of The Metal Ox

February 9, 2021

History will come alive once again in Weaverville in a virtual Chinese New Year Celebration and Lion Dance presented from Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park. This virtual event is being offered on the California State Parks PORTS Home Learning Program as well as the Park’s Facebook page. The virtual celebration will be broadcast on the first day of the Chinese New Year – Friday, Feb. 12 at 10AM from...

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No touching! Churches get ready for Ash Wednesday in a pandemic

February 9, 2021

Many churches mark the beginning of the penitential season of Lent with the imposition of ashes. Clergy smear ashes, usually those left after burning palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebrations, onto congregants’ foreheads, often in the shape of a cross.

That practice presents a problem when health experts fighting COVID-19 have advised people to avoid touching their faces or coming in close proximity to others....

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